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Year 9 Students Interview Visiting Author, Holly Thompson

Posted: February 15, 2019

This week, DC welcomed visiting author, Holly Thompson. Holly Thompson is a longtime resident of Japan and author of the verse novels Falling into the Dragon’s Mouth, The Language Inside and Orchards, the novel Ash and picture books Twilight Chant, One Wave at a Time, and The Wakame Gatherers.

Holly worked with our Y7 students in relation to Falling into the Dragon’s Mouth as well as all Y9 students, focusing on character and setting in short stories. Three of our Y9 students, Maya Nanda, Jayaniee Saravanakugan and Shu Man Cheng, interviewed Ms Thompson earlier this week. Some of the questions posed are featured here:

What made you so passionate about creating stories?
“…I always loved playing with stories in my mind and I…felt confident when I was writing and what I loved about writing is that I could put something down and I could change it and get it the way I wanted it to be before I shared it.”

Did you base your characters on anyone?
“Usually I don’t base my characters on any person…I might pick up a trait from somebody or a way of speaking from someone but I don’t usually base an entire character on a person.”

Where did you get inspiration to write your story, Falling into the Dragon’s Mouth?
“So that one was a mix of things. One was just living in Japan and having kids in Japanese schools so knowing inside the school system and what it was like, encountering bullying in Japan and then sometimes I would weave in incidents I had either read about or happened in the neighbourhood in one way or another.”

When did you know that you wanted to become an author?
“Well I knew I liked writing and then….I remember when I was 13, an aunt sitting down next to me and saying ‘So what do you want to be when you grow up?’ and I actually, for the first time, said ‘a writer’. And she was wonderful…she said ‘ That is the most important thing you can be’.  And I was so grateful that she said that!”